Cook’s Illustrated Fool Proof Vinaigrette

Cook’s Illustrated Fool Proof Vinaigrette

After making and testing hundreds of vinaigrettes both straight and on salads, we’ve arrived at a few conclusions. To start, ratios: For most green salads, a ratio of 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar works best. We might alter this ratio when the vinegar is unusually mild (like rice wine vinegar), when citrus juices are used, or when the dressing is heavily flavored by another ingredient that needs a good kick (such as tomatoes). And salads like Chef’s Salad benefit from an acidic dressing that cuts through the richness of the meat and cheese. Second, extra-virgin olive oil is our top choice for most vinaigrettes, except those that have strong Asian flavors. Third, we’ve found that simply shaking all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a sealed lid in the easiest method of making the dressing; there is no extra bowl or whisk to wash and you can store what is left over in the same jar. Most vinaigrettes last about a week in the refrigerator. Just bring the dressing to room temperature and shake vigorously to recombine before serving.

1 tsp. Wine Vinegar
1 ½ tsp. minced Shallot
½ tsp. Mayo
½ tsp. Dijon
1/8 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. EVOO

Combine Vinegar, Shallot, Mayo, Mustard, Salt and Pepper to taste in small bowl. Whisk until milky in appearance and no lumps remain. Place oil in small measuring C. so it is easy to pour. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle oil into vinegar. If pools of oil gather on the surface as you whisk, stop adding oil and whisk until combined, then resume whisking oil in a slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on the surface. (Or use the jar shaking method) Store refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Lemon Vinaigrette (For mild greens): substitute fresh lemon juice for vinegar, omit shallot and add ¼ tsp. finely grated lemon zest and a pinch of sugar with salt and pepper.

Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette (For assertive greens): substitute balsamic vinegar for wine vinegar, increase mustard to 2 tsp. and add ½ tsp. fresh chopped thyme along with salt and pepper.

Nuttier Vinaigrette: Replace half the EVOO with walnut oil

Herb Vinaigrette: Add 1 tsp. minced parsley or chives and ½ tsp. minced fresh thyme, tarragon, marjoram, or oregano just before using.

Comments are closed.